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Houston Response – PastorServe’s History of Service After Disasters

New Orleans

Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast in 2005. Following Katrina, PastorServe, in partnership with generous donors, distributed financial support ($150,000+) to pastors who had not been paid as their congregations were displaced. We provided emotional support through friendship and practical support by connecting New Orleans pastors with pastors across the nation – many of those relationships continuing strong today. Our partnership with pastors meant coming to New Orleans to preach in churches, giving pastors much-needed break times.

PastorServe worked with forty New Orleans pastors – but we worked particularly closely with a group of nine churches in the Lower Ninth Ward. As of today, eight of the nine senior pastors remain in their Ninth Ward churches.

Pastor D.L. Berryhill – pastor of First Zion Baptist Church – New Orleans recently wrote,

“In 2005 my church was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I was down, feeling depressed, and feeling that maybe the church had not done all that it should have been doing. But PastorServe found me. They lifted my spirits and helped me move forward. Even today, we are still connected to PastorServe. I thank God so much for an organization like PastorServe.”

Haiti

In Haiti, PastorServe’s response involved organizing and overseeing efforts to send thousands of volunteers to serve local pastors and congregations. Personally, for me (Jimmy), it meant flying to Haiti to conduct eleven funerals when a local pastor had no emotional energy to conduct another funeral.

Joplin, MO

After the 2011 EF5 tornado struck Joplin, MO, we provided friendship, support and financial assistance. We hosted Joplin pastor gatherings and brought in leaders in grief counseling and recovery to address the pastors. We did everything from provide a Branson vacation home to Kansas basketball tickets. Essentially, we did whatever the pastors—desperate for rest and renewal—asked.

Colorado Springs

Following the fires in Colorado Springs our presence provided financial assistance, finding worship locations for churches that had been destroyed by the fires and emotional support. At times it has meant locating vacation homes for pastors whose families desperately needed a break from the grind of disaster relief.

Rev. David Hiester, pastor of the Wilson United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs had just moved to Colorado two days before the fires rolled over the mountain. He hadn’t yet led a worship service when fires engulfed the entire neighborhood surrounding his church. David wrote…

In the midst of a chaotic and terrible catastrophe, PastorServe drew alongside me and held me up, encouraged me, and loved on my family. Words cannot describe how timely their support was.

Following the Colorado Springs fires, Al Mueller, Founder and President of Excellence in Giving, a well-known national leader based in Colorado Springs, said the following,

I would highly recommend PastorServe.  They have a great reputation in our community. PastorServe is one of the few organizations ministering to the pastors/ministry leaders who are ministering to their congregations. I believe PastorServe will bless our community in the days/months ahead.

 

 

 


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